Is a sedation / anesthesia inspection, like SAMERI, mandatory?


Currently, in over 20 states, dental practices that provide sedation or anesthesia are not legally required to get inspected. The State of Texas is in the process of developing a requirement for an inspection. Even though not legally mandated in many states the increase in patient harm and death associated with dental office based anesthesia makes undergoing an inspection the right thing to do for patient safety.




What is the main benefit of getting a sedation / anesthesia inspection?


With the increase in patient harm and death associated with dental office based anesthesia, an inspection helps you avoid a career-killing mistake by ensuring your office is truly ready to provide sedation and/or anesthesia services. Undergoing an inspection is one of the best methods to protect your patients, save your career, and satisfy state regulators. In addition to these benefits, offices that elect to undergo an inspection also receive 12 mock emergency drills and when those drills are complete, will earn 12 hours of continuing education credit for up to 5 of their staff.




How much time will the inspection process take?


Most practices can prepare for a SAMERI in less than 8 hours. This may take much less than 8 hours depending on your current level of preparedness. The actual inspection, assuming you have completed the Preparation Checklist, should require no more than an hour to complete.




Can I charge patients a fee to help defray the cost of getting inspected?


Dentists invest significant financial resources in ensuring the safety of their patients by undergoing a SAMERI. Therefore, it is acceptable to charge a small per patient fee to recover these costs. Patients generally accept this small incremental cost when they understand the effort your practice has invested on their behalf in ensuring your office is ready for any emergencies and has met all regulatory requirements. Typical inspection fees range from $2 to $3 per patient per visit.




What standards must my office meet to earn pass an inspection?


AAFDO uses a comprehensive inspection survey with over 100 criteria in sedation and/or anesthesia training, education, facility standards, patient selection principles, safety, resuscitative and emergency protocols. These standards have been vetted by the experts on our Advisory Board. Because these criteria are a recommended "national standard," in some rare cases the criteria may be more stringent than those currently used by your state. The recommended national standards used in SAMERI will protect your patients, save your careers, and satisfy state regulators that you meet all applicable requirements and help ensure you are ready to handle any sedation or anesthesia emergencies.




Will my state dental board accept SAMERI in lieu of the currently required state inspection?


This varies by state. Please contact us for the latest information. Except in a very few states, the SAMERI will be much more comprehensive than what your state requires and will ensure that you meet all applicable requirements and help ensure you are ready to handle any sedation or anesthesia emergencies.




For how long is an inspection valid?


An inspected dental office must undergo re-evaluation through another inspection with an AAFDO Inspector every three years and comply with all AAFDO sedation / anesthesia standards. You will be contacted 90 days before expiration of your current inspection. A new application and fee must be submitted for a renewal inspection.




Why is AAFDO the best organization from which to receive an inspection?


AAFDO is created by dentists for dentists. Because we know dentistry, our experts have pulled together regulatory mandates, best-practice standards and patient safety measures into one comprehensive package of over 100+ criteria of excellence. Our Advisory Board has some of the nation's best experts in dental office based anesthesia.sedation and/or anesthesia training, education, facility standards, patient selection principles, safety, resuscitative and emergency protocols.





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